Xi ‘an Liangjiatan International School has always emphasized on offering its students atruly balanced education. Besides offering our students a rigorous academic curriculum, we cannot ignore the benefits that Physical and Artistic education represent for our learners. By doing so, we work toward one of our objectives which is to educate te child as a whole person. The performing Arts at XLIS continue to provide a platform for our students to express themselves at a higher level and to conquer the fear of performing in front of an audience, year after year. To continue to provide students with a growing variety of options to harness their artistic interests, Mr. Pyoung Gang Kim, Head of Performing Arts, created innovative clubs for students to choose from this semester. During this festive month of December 2022, we were honored to interview Mr. Kim to share his vision and strategy as to how to continue developing the Performing Arts at XLIS.
Q：How many Performing Arts clubs/ programs do we currently have at school?
In our school, various performing arts ensembles such as the Primary Choir, the Secondary Choir, the Wind Ensemble, the String Ensemble, the Beginner School Band, the Ballet Dance Troupe, the Pop-Dance Troupe, and Drama Troupe, have been designed and established to help students develop and cultivate their musical and performing arts talents.
Q：What kind of performance do we usually organize to enhance students learning of different kinds of musical instruments and dance？
We offer various performance opportunities for XLIS students. To name a few, our yearly Christmas Concert, our Christmas Caroling events, the Summer Musical Gala, the Summer Fair Talent Show, the Classical Music Competition, the Chinese New Year Performance, the International Day Performance, and our Performing Arts Assembly in which students showcase their performing arts talents as as performer.
Q：How can students join a club that they are interested in? Do we have any instructions on the registration process？
In the case of Primary Choir, String ensemble, and Wind ensemble, students who have a lot of experience and already have a deep understanding of music can join by auditioning or by obtaining a performing arts teachers’ recommendation. In the case of the Secondary Choir, Beginner Band, Ballet Dance Troupe, Pop-Dance Troupe, and Drama programs, anyone with an interest can join without an audition.
Q：What is the purpose of building such a big Performing Arts community in our school? What can the students benefit from this team in the long term?
I believe that the purpose of education is a long journey to answer the question “who am I?” The purpose of music education is also to help students discover their true self through performing arts. The process of practice or rehearsal is arduous and sometimes tedious. However, once they master the functional parts of their instruments through perseverance and effort, students immediately start discovering themselves through music and expressing their own uniqueness on the stage through performance. Through this process, students encounter themselves and develop and understanding of their deepest emotions, thoughts, and desires. I think this is the biggest benefit and strength of music.
In addition, through ensemble activities and performances, students can collaborate and learn how precious and meaningful the community is. They will also learn how to manage and prepare themselves in the ensemble, such as managing instruments, managing time, and managing their own belongings. Also, through the music itself, students will learn how to mature and control their own mind and emotions. In addition, by performing on behalf of the school and participating in events, they will be able to develop a lot of self-confidence on various stages.
Q：As the Head of Performing Arts and Primary Performing Arts Teacher, do you have any ideas or plans for the further development of Performing Arts education at XLIS？Could you share some details with us?
It is true that concerts and performances around the world have been greatly reduced and are experiencing difficulties due to the pandemic. However, if given the opportunity, I would like to create and start XLIS orchestra that can represent our school internationally, so that I can provide more opportunities to students who are interested in musical instruments and provide them with a platform for them to shine on the world stage. I also want to help talented students participate in events such as the International Youth Music competition in the U.S.A., and even Europe. Also, I would like to create various music related experiences for students by interacting with various schools or organizations to extend our students’ experience and value in the performing arts. There is also the hope of making our school’s own School Musical and performing it not only in China but also in other countries. Finally, I would like to start a traditional Chinese or Korean instrument ensemble which would help cultivate and encourage more cultural interest and understanding in school community. Through this process, I want XLIS students to experience the true joy and beauty of music and watch them grow into healthy children both physically and mentally.
The purpose of Performing Arts Education is not to make the young generations to become next Beethoven or Mozart but lead them to grow up accompanied by diversified art forms, get to know and love the world in a way they like through pleasant melody of different instruments.
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Pyoung Gang Kim (Head of Performing Arts)
Fancy Fan (PR Officer)